5 Sure-fire Ways To Annoy Everyone Around You At A Pow Wow

Posted By PowWow Articles April 20th, 2015 Last Updated on: January 19th, 2022

5 Sure-fire Ways To Annoy Everyone Around You At A Powwow


Native american chief isolated on white background

1) Show up to a Powwow in a Costume

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen someone come to a powwow in a costume, dressed as someone from the Renaissance Fair, or even in a plastic War Bonnet with a tag saying “Made in China” that they got from a Halloween shop. If you come to a Powwow, you are coming to a cultural experience, not to a Comic Convention. Always be respectful with what you choose to wear, and mindful of the people in attendance who are here to celebrate their culture.

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Thomas Albers

When I attend Pow Wows, I am VERY respectful of the culture and beliefs of the participants. I am simply BLOWN AWAY by the regalia I see and how much time and effort goes into making them. I ALWAYS ask permission before taking a picture and explain I put all of them in a folder on my computer and I make a calendar every year from photos from the past year from Shutterfly (sorry for the plug) and give them as gifts to friends. I DO make sure that the ones I choose (the BEST of the BEST) are aware and offer to send them a calendar free of charge. I have not had anyone say NO (yet) and the BEST of the BEST are flattered that I chose them for my project. And, no I am NOT a professional photographer. All that have received a calendar featuring them are SO pleased and request copies for their friends and family. This makes me feel special being as I am White, but a believer in the traditional Native ways and beliefs.

Joseph Red Wolf

Beer sold at Pow Wow???? Really!! What’s next —Sun Dance???

Thomas Albers

I have NEVER been to a Pow Wow where alcohol was served. And I lived in Arizona and currently in Montana. I lost a great friend and Mentor who was a Navajo Medicine Man to alcohol. He saw something in me and showed me a LOT that I will cherish forever and being White that means a LOT to me. I will see you again my friend when the Great Spirit calls me home.

Joseph tharp

Why would anyone allow alcohol to be sold at a Pow Wow???? It is a plague to the First Americans. I am not against alcohol but there is a common courtesy that should be followed out of sheer respect. Hearing this makes me wonder when they will try to sell it at Sundance. I am pretty sure the line will be drawn there.

Little Wolf

I have been to many powwows in my lifetime especially one held here in Wisconsin every summer.Of course they have beer stands for those wasichus who care to drink throughout the fair.This is none of my concern as to what they do.But when I observed at one point in time,a wasichu dressed in regalia sitting on a folding chair by the dance arena sucking down a pint size glass of beer. I’m sorry but these kind are the reason that they manufacturerer birth control pills.

Patty Sweet

I thought powwows were Drug & Alcohol FREE as in Not Allowed.

Andy Murphy

About what you said concerning “costumes”, my ancestry is largely native from another continent (I’m Celtic – chiefly Gaelic). When I went to a Pow Wow recently, I wore a style of native clothing my ancestors would have worn centuries ago. My intention was for the native in me to salute the natives from this (and other) continents. Nobody viewed me askance – instead, the elders said, “Welcome home”. The only thing that happened is that upon seeing my clothing, some people incorrectly guessed my origins(this gave me the opportunity to explain that I was wearing the tartan of my ancient clan and then engage them in some pleasant dialog).

Darla Hitchcock

I love this!


Yes, sadly, it s a fact that ‘signs are there to be ignored’ and there are no signs in the first place. Frankly, the only way to get the public to hear and follow Pow Wow etiquette would be to assign a ‘guide’ to everyone entering at the gate.

Patty Sweet


Craig Apelbaum

It’s like with any other event you go to. It’s common sense. Be courteous and respectful.
And don’t do anything stupid. And if you follow the rules of the POW WOW. You won’t get thrown out. You’ll get to stay throughout the duration of the POW WOW.

Pixie Matlis

Never touch regalia without asking.
Never approach a drum without permission.
Show respect for the Eagle staffs and Eagle feathers on regalia ( no touching).

Seth Bendfeldt

? What is meant by “approach a drum”.

Paul G

Go up to the drum and try to talk to them while they are singing.

Kelly Tohannie

Another thing is when people have canopies up around the arena with other canopies behind them and they put up either a flag, shawl, or blanket and it’s blocking your view of the arena and they’ve put it up after knowing your sitting there…

Patty Sweet

WOW! That’s VERY rude. They act like you are not there or unimportant.

Jody Jennings

Is it Wrong to Wear a Beaded Belt, Beaded Moccasins just jeans ect @ join in the Open Dance?

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